and outdoor learning

Connecting people with nature and each other


Claire Whalley Founder of Badger Forest School and Outdoor Learning Claire is the founder of Badger Forest School & Outdoor learning. She set it up in 2013 but has been planning it for years! She is a qualified primary school teacher and spent 16 years teaching in the UK, Thailand and Portugal. She is passionate about the outdoors and instantly fell in love with the Forest School ethos training at Bridgwater College in 2008. She has recently qualified as a TIS (Trauma Informed Schools) Practitioner. Health and wellbeing is the driving force behind every session, aiming to support participants where possible. Claire is immensely grateful to all the freelancers in her team and is consistently inspired, supported and encouraged by them. She has worked hard at developing partnerships with many schools and other education settings in Cornwall, her hope is that these relationships will continue to build and cater for the needs of different groups and individuals. Claire has had a professional learning partnership with Forestry England for several years , Cardinham Woods near Bodmin is the main site used for all sessions. Claire and her partner François have a two year old daughter and a dog called Barney!. They are often found out and about walking the coastpath, playing on the beach or off finding new adventures in their van! Ysella Wood Freelance Forest School leader
Education Coordinator Izzey is proud to be part of the Badger Team. She has years of experience educating and inspiring others in the great outdoors and sharing her passion. Having Cornwall for your start in life remains in your blood and ignites the wonder of the amazing natural world. She has recently qualified as a TIS (Trauma Informed Schools) Practitioner. Izzey helps with the running of Badger Forest School, taking on a varierty of roles. She is one of the faces of our popular ‘Holiday Club’ and often hosts various events, as well supporting the Nurture Programme, Wildlife Trust events and sessions at Wheal Martyn. Izzey is often busy with numerous other behind-the-scenes bits and bobs! David Whalley Forest School Assistant David (AKA ‘Daddy David’) is a very important person at Badger Forest School and is Claire’s dad, accountant and brilliant fire assistant. He is now retired and loves coming along to help in the woods. You will usually find David chopping wood, singing camp fire songs and making dens. He supports Badger Forest school with many of the behind the scenes jobs., including the financial support. In his spare time he loves surfing, cycling, playing tennis, kayaking, yoga and ballroom dancing with his lovely wife! Ellie McEwan Freelance Forest School Leader Despite growing up in North London, Ellie was lucky enough to live near some green spaces, but really developed her love of the outdoors spending summers exploring her Grandparent’s farm in Ireland. During 18 years working in Early Years, Ellie has gained a Montessori Early Years Diploma and BA in Early Childhood Care and Education. Moving to Cornwall in 2015, Ellie discovered Badger Cubs with her two daughters and now seems determined to never leave! Now a qualified Forest School Leader, she feels strongly about the importance of children having access to rich outdoor experiences and regularly supports our Nurture Programme.
Kym McGrath Freelance Outdoor learning Leader Kym has been working with children in various care-giving and educational roles for over twenty years, and she currently specialises in providing alternative and outdoors learning opportunities to early years and primary school age children. She has worked for Badger Forest School for the last four years in the Nurture Programme and with our home education groups. Kym helps with the running of Badger Forest School and is often squirreling away with admin jobs. When she's not having fun in the various woodlands of beautiful Cornwall, she loves nothing better than travelling the world with her young family. Joanna Bacon Freelance Forest School Leader Jo has worked with the Badger Team for just over a year now after meeting Claire when she took her own children to Badger Cubs. She loved the ideas, practise and theory of Forest School so much that she then trained as a Level 3 leader. Jo has always loved working with children and is a fully qualified teacher. She has a BEd in Primary education and has taught in Cornwall for many years where she specialised in the Early Years. Her main passion is Art and regularly tutors in this subject. Aside from teaching and working in Forest School, Jo also runs a pre-school group in Wadebridge called Messy Pups.
Kate Jeffery Freelance Forest School Leader A new face at Badger Forest School, Kate is very happy to be joining the team. With a passion for outdoor adventure and travel, Kate enjoys working with people of all ages and loves making new discoveries every day. Often found exploring beaches, woodlands and the mountains with her 6 year old daughter and family, Kate loves nothing more than being outside surrounded by nature. As an experienced primary teacher and mum, Kate enjoys embarking on outdoor learning adventures, making new friends and particularly loves campfire cooking and making crafts whatever the weather! Liane Dixon Freelance Forest School Leader Lele joined Badger Forest School as a volunteer, then continued to gain extra experience whilst training and is now a qualified Forest School Leader supporting pupils through our Nurture Programme. Originally from Somerset, Lele has felt the beneficial impacts of being with nature and this love continues with her explorations in the woods and also at home by the sea. She is experienced in EYFS and is one of the faces of our popular ‘Holiday Club’ at Cardinham Woods!
Anna McClarron Freelance Forest School Leader Anna is a Cornish, nature-loving, creative being who likes to interweave natural arts and crafts into her sessions. A qualified Forest School Leader who has many years of experience working with children and young adults in a range of settings with variety of social, emotional, mental health and educational needs. She enjoys playing nature games and facilitating knife skills, such as whittling, and looks forward to welcoming you into the woods, whatever the weather!
Steph Attwood Freelance Outdoor learning Leader Steph is a big fan of being outside, exploring in nature and learning cool stuff with children and adults - she can usually be found getting very excited over some cool nature treasure, plant or animal!
Steph started with Badger first as a parent participant, then volunteer and now regularly leads our independent Home Ed groups. She is also another face of our Holiday Club and supports our Nurture Programme.
She feels very blessed to be part of such a fab team. Go Badger!
Barney & Hedra Yes they’re both Jack Russells and very much in love, but no they’re not related! Barney (black & white, belonging to Claire) joined the team in 2015, followed by Hedra (brown & white, belonging to Izzey) in 2017. Both enjoy the water, getting muddy, playing with the children and eagerly awaiting campfire cooking/packed lunches leftovers! They are regularly used as therapy dogs in our Nurture Programme and supporting transitions for children in our groups.